Review: The Last Drop's 22-Year-Old Infinitum Rum Blend Is A Luxury Spirit That's Worth The Wait

Premium and super-premium liquor sales have been growing since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Consumers who couldn't enjoy dining or entertainment options outside the home started investing in high-end products for home enjoyment. Today, this trend continues. A Nielsen NIQ report offered the key trends to watch out for in 2024, including the fact that high-end alcoholic product sales will continue to grow, even as overall drinking behaviors are changing. The company's reporting shows that today's consumers are choosing to drink in moderation, opting to consume less alcohol while making the liquors and cocktails they enjoy be of a premium quality.

In 2020, the international beverage alcohol research and analysis firm ISWR reported that in the United States, the rum category fell behind the tequila/mezcal category for the first time, with the agave-based Mexican spirits becoming the third most popular liquor in the country, behind vodka and whiskey. However, today's reporting shows that consumers' interest in super-premium rum is on the rise, particularly as the price of premium-aged rum is often about half that of a comparably aged tequila. 

In April 2024, The Last Drop Distillers of London released three new highly aged, super-premium liquors designed for the connoisseur with luxurious taste, including Release No. 35: the 22-Year-Old Infinitum Rum Blend. We had a chance to sample this new release to determine if the high-end product is worth your investment.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer/distributor/etc.

What is The Last Drop Distillers of London?

London-based The Last Drop Distillers offers aficionados of super-premium liquors a selection of limited-quantity, highly curated spirits. Established in 2008 by liquor industry veterans Tom Jago and James Espey, the company was built with aspirations of taking the duo's combined knowledge and experience, along with decades of building industry relationships, to acquire rare and long-forgotten beverage alcohol gems for its discerning customers. 

Today, managing director and Tom Jago's daughter, Rebecca Jago, leads the company with a distinguished board of advisors known as The Assembly. This board includes the master blenders from Foursquare Rum, Sazerac USA, and Sazerac France, to name a few, along with The Last Drop's own master blender Colin Scott. In keeping with The Last Drop's founders' aspirations, each of the company's expressions highlights the terroir of the spirit, revealing a story of place through the flavors and aromas of the liquors. Since The Last Drop's inception, the company has only released 36 offerings — with its 22-year-old international blended rum being among its latest releases.

The Last Drop's 22-Year-Old Infinitum Rum Blend

Amid the various types of rum that are available today, including spiced, gold, and barrel aged, The Last Drop's 22-Year-Old Infinitum Rum Blend appears to stand alone as a unique product. All rum begins with a sugarcane base, either as straight sugarcane juice or molasses made as a by-product from sugar crystals. After fermentation and distillation, all rum typically ages in oak barrels — some for one or two years, many others for decades. 

As the company claims, what makes The Last Drop's new rum stand out is that it's "an epic blend born from hundreds of duty suspended samples collected during the year 2000." These finished, aged rum samples originated in distilleries throughout the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America. And rum, of course, has deep roots in the Caribbean and the Americas, where distillers have been crafting it for generations. These samples were reportedly sent to England for quality assessment and trade tastings. After the required retention time, The Main Rum Company is said to have poured them into a single recycled rum oak cask, which was then aged in Liverpool for over two decades. Since its founding in 1984, this rum procurement company has similarly prided itself on offering its clientele limited releases of rare, old, barrel-aged rums. 

The Last Drop acquired the barrel of the 22-Year-Old Infinitum Rum Blend and bottled the remaining liquid for its 2024 release. It accounted for only 136 bottles after the angels took their share.

Taste testing this international blended rum

Tasting anything that has rested in a barrel for over 20 years is a delightful privilege. The Last Drop's offering conjures up even more enjoyment as the final rum blend includes such a wide array of styles, terroirs, and aging techniques from samples hailing from Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Brazil, among others. 

Each base rum's production technique was either crafted through pot still distillation — which tends to deliver a textured liquor, often with rich, full-flavored character — or continuous still distillation, creating a much softer, uniform product with a velvety palate. As the rum blend aged over the 22 years in the recycled cask, the various styles came together to create a harmonious blend of textures, flavors, and aromas, while further concentrating the spirit as small amounts naturally evaporated over time through the porous oak staves. 

The final product opens with toasted spice, stewed cherries and plum, with dried citrus fruit aromas. The palate is spicy, fruity, and fresh, highlighting its tropical origins with notes of dried citrus peel, toasted allspice, and nutmeg, with a distinct note of white pepper and a dry, mouth-coating finish. In tasting the aged rum, there was a freshness similar to The Last Drop's two scotch releases from April 2024, which was surprising for a spirit that has seen such extensive aging. Though bottled at 106.2 proof, the rum doesn't have the hot taste that high-proof alcohol can sometimes have. Instead, it is unctuous, rich, contemplative, and satisfying.

How to drink the 22-Year-Old Infinitum Rum Blend

As the popularity of super-premium rum has increased, the style in which the consumer enjoys the spirit has changed. Rum is shifting away from being a liquor mixed nonchalantly into fruity cocktail concoctions like a piña colada or rum punch for enjoyment when on holiday. Today's rum connoisseurs are enjoying high-end rums in the same manner that they'd appreciate a well-aged whiskey, tequila, or Cognac: sipping the liquor neat or with a single ice cube to help reveal its nuances as it evokes consideration and contemplation. 

Using The Last Drop's 22-Year-Old Infinitum Rum Blend in a classic cocktail like a daiquiri will mask the rum's complex aromas and flavors behind a palate of fruit and sugar. Instead, we recommend pouring a small amount of the sipping rum into a tulip-shaped Glencairn glass — the style of glassware you would use for sipping whiskey with a wide bowl that narrows at the top. This will ensure you experience the full breadth of the liquor's honeyed, spicy, dried fruit flavors and aromatics.

Is The Last Drop's super-premium rum expensive?

The Last Drop's 22-Year-Old Infinitum Rum Blend is expensive, without question, costing $3,100 for a 700-milliliter bottle (with an added 50-milliliter miniature bottle to enjoy if holding the more sizable bottle as an investment). However, consumers who are willing to spend more tend to seek quality while having an awareness of how spirits are crafted. As such, they're more likely to pursue brands that work sustainably and are stewards of the environment while delivering the premium taste desired. Companies like The Last Drop. And it's worth mentioning that, per the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the sales of super-premium rum in the U.S. alone have doubled over the past 10 years — generating $220 million in 2023, compared to $103 million in 2013.

So while it's expensive, this 22-year-old international rum's cost is actually on par with some other options of similar age, namely limited-edition options from Havana Club, Brugal, and Caroni. However, there are dozens of other 22-year-old rums are available in the United States from producers throughout the Caribbean and Central America for a much lower price. Still, they may not have the storied pedigree and reported provenance that The Last Drop's option provides.

How it compares to other high-end rums

While it seems no other rum in the world has quite the same make-up as The Last Drop's new release, we tried the new Maestro Reserva from Brugal side-by-side with it. Released in February 2024, the Dominican Republic rum comes from island-raised sugarcane that's turned into molasses and distilled using continuous columns. The liquor is then double aged in American sherry oak casks following the direction of maestra ronera Jassil Villanueva Quintana. The spirit sells for around $200 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

The Last Drop's Infinitum rum is a blend of rums that have come together in one barrel for 22 years, as mentioned. Though Brugal's selection has no age statement, the aging occurred in Dominican warehouses where the rum was subject to the island's heat and humidity. Here, the rum extracts maximum barrel flavor as the vessels expand and withdraw throughout the aging cycle, while also being subjected to the natural evaporation experienced in the tropical location. This aging makes Brugal a worthy comparison. 

In tasting side-by-side, both products have caramel, toasted spice, and dried fruit flavors. However, Brugal's option is highly expressive on the front palate with compelling spice, sweetness, and a silky, concentrated flavor profile. In contrast, The Last Drop's selection shows restraint, which comes across as elegance. The dry rum lingers on the back palate, bringing out the inclination for reflection. It requires contemplative sipping to experience the spirit's full story, creating a worthwhile drinking experience.

Is The Last Drop's new 22-Year-Old Infinitum Rum Blend worth it?

For fans of super-premium alcohol, The Last Drop Distillers' new 22-Year-Old Infinitum Rum Blend will be of interest, as the offering brings together a unique blend of rums that the company will never be able to acquire or recreate in this exact manner again. The extensive supplementary aging over two decades brought additional layers to the uniqueness of the Infinitum. 

For connoisseurs of rum with an understanding of the importance of terroir and its effect on a rum's flavor — along with the types of barrels selected for aging and how the rum's regionality comes into play throughout the aging process — acquiring a bottle of The Last Drop's story-filled selection will make for a prized addition to their home bar. Still, while this option is distinct and delicious, the significant price is overall sizable compared to other similarly aged options — making the luxurious spirit a splurge no matter the size of your pocketbook.